Resolving childhood stress with awareness
There is a belief that unresolved issues are carried with us, often increasing in intensity over time, until we resolve them. The specific issues may be long forgotten and yet they subtly influence how we feel about ourselves and other people and they can be the root cause of strange and inappropriate reactions in the present day.
Outbursts of rage or avoiding conflict can often be traced back to troubled times in childhood. Fear of medium-sized to large groups of people can be a mystery until we track back and observe patterns of behavior. This was the case with Andrew. He found that his rage exploded unexpectedly and inappropriately and so he avoided being with people as much as possible.
Looking back at his life
He recalled a chaotic home life during his childhood. His mother was an alcoholic and his father worked all hours, so Andrew’s role from an early age was to keep his mother safe and deal with the basics around the home. His responsibilities meant that he missed the fun and freedom many of his classmates had and he suppressed a number of destructive (and understandable) feelings.
As a child he was neither appreciated nor valued. As an adult he neither appreciated nor valued himself. He put everyone’s needs ahead of his own. He was a people pleaser, peace keeper and tried to foresee problems before they existed so that he could avoid or fix them before they happened.
New discoveries, self-denial and mounting stress levels
Andrew was shocked to discover that he didn’t know or care what he wanted, what might give him pleasure or was best for him. He had never considered himself at all. We discussed the possibility that his inner child had missed out massively on fun, love and laughter and being valued for who he was – exactly as he was. Perhaps his inner child was trying to be heard and acknowledged. Perhaps a lifetime of self-denial and mounting stress levels was the cause of his bursts of rage.
A journey of self-discovery
And so began a joyful journey of self-discovery. Andrew created a nurturing routine for himself and regularly assessed how he felt through the day. He learnt what helped him to relax and recognized when he felt uptight. He had strategies to get back in balance and an increasing list of things to do that would bring pleasure, peace or excitement into his life. And when the outbursts of rage diminished he felt safe enough to begin to make friends and socialize happily.
Our emotions bring us messages, listening to the whispers
Of what is wrong, what needs to change, or what is right, in flow and is wonderful. Rather than having our emotions explode in rage, it’s worth listening to their whispers!</P